KeyBanc analyst Christopher O'Cull noted that Olive Garden's guest counts have lagged the industry in 23 of the past 24 months.
The declines were "disconcerting" when considering that Olive Garden accounts for about half of Darden's business, O'Cull said in a note to investors.
Still, Olive Garden says its changes will be significant and that it will continue to evolve. A new signature wine called Porta Vita is being introduced Monday. Lighter options will continue to expand in coming months. In the third fiscal quarter, the lunch menu will be revamped to offer more variety.
Without giving details, the company says it plans to add a core "everyday value" section on its menu in January.
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